Hemorrhoids are swollen, enlarged veins that form inside and outside of your anus and rectum. They can be painful and uncomfortable and cause rectal bleeding. Hemorrhoids are also called piles. We’re all born with hemorrhoids, but at baseline, they don’t bother us. It’s only when they become swollen and enlarged that they produce irritating symptoms.
Who Might Get Hemorrhoids?
Anyone can get symptomatic hemorrhoids, even teenagers. (But because hemorrhoids take a while to develop, they’re uncommon in children.) You may be more at risk if you:
Eat a low-fiber diet.
Have chronic constipation or diarrhea.
Regularly lift heavy objects.
Spend a lot of time sitting on the toilet.
Strain while having bowel movements.
Types of Hemorrhoids, Piles?
Hemorrhoids can happen inside or outside of your rectum. The type depends on where the swollen vein develops. Types include:
External: Swollen veins form underneath the skin around your anus. Your anus is the canal where your poop comes out. External hemorrhoids can be itchy and painful. Occasionally, they bleed. Sometimes, they fill with blood that can clot. This isn’t dangerous, but can result in pain and swelling.
Internal: Swollen veins form inside your rectum. Your rectum is the part of your digestive system that connects your colon (large intestine) to your anus. Internal hemorrhoids may bleed, but they usually aren’t painful.
Prolapsed: Both internal and external hemorrhoids can prolapse, meaning they stretch and bulge outside of your anus. These hemorrhoids may bleed or cause pain.
What’s The Difference Between Hemorrhoids and Anal Fissures?
Hemorrhoids and anal fissures cause similar symptoms, such as itching, pain and bleeding. While swollen veins cause hemorrhoids, a tear in the lining of your anus causes an anal fissure. A healthcare provider will do a physical exam and may order tests to find what’s causing your symptoms.
Symptoms of Piles
Piles don’t always cause pain or other symptoms, but if you do have symptoms, they might include:
bleeding when you poo – you may see blood (usually bright red) on toilet paper or drips in the toilet or on the surface of your poo
a lump in or around your anus
a slimy discharge of mucus from your anus, which may stain your underwear
a feeling of ‘fullness’ and discomfort in your anus, or a feeling that your bowels haven’t completely emptied after you’ve gone to the toilet
itchy or sore skin around your anus
pain and discomfort after you go to the toilet
What Are The Complications of Hemorrhoids, PILES ?
Hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable and painful, but they don’t tend to cause serious problems. Rarely, people with hemorrhoids develop:
Blood clots in external hemorrhoids.
Skin tags (flap of tissue that hangs off skin).
Strangulated hemorrhoids (muscles in the anus cut off blood flow to a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid).
How Can I Prevent Hemorrhoids, PILES?
Hemorrhoids are common as you get older. These steps can help prevent hard stools and constipation that can lead to hemorrhoids:
Don’t sit too long or push too hard on the toilet.
Go to the toilet when the urge hits — don’t delay bowel movements.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Eat more high-fiber foods (fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains) or take supplements.
Stay physically active. Being on the move keeps bowels moving.
Take laxatives or use enemas only as recommended by your healthcare provider.
Too many laxatives or enemas can make it hard for your body to regulate how you poop.
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